The Rise of Antibiotic Resistant Sexually Transmitted Infections

Each year, more than 25 million pounds of antibiotics are consumed annually. The CDC deems at least half of these to be unjustified, leading to a rise in antibiotic resistance across different bacterial species. This rise in resistance is of great concern to global health officials since there are few, if any, new antibiotics being developed. Antimicrobial resistance is increasing among sexually transmitted pathogens1. As with common STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, researchers are currently witnessing an emergence of resistant strains2.

Antibiotic resistant STIs are a growing public health concern. In the last international estimate of global STI incidence, the World Health Organization estimated that 340 million adults were infected with an STI3. The implications on the well-being of children are considerable, as STIs are known to be responsible for significant morbidity in mother and child. Stillbirths, premature delivery, blindness and respiratory diseases of the newborns are frequent complications caused by STIs4.

While antibiotic resistance is rising, the antibiotic arsenal is dwindling. Nearly all new antibiotics are derivates of existing compounds that have been modified chemically in laboratories. In fact, there is only one remaining class of antibiotics recommended by the CDC to treat resistant gonorrhea1. Commonly used antibiotics such as penicillin and tetracycline have become ineffective in treating resistant STIs, and are showing higher rates of resistance in developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.  In developing countries, antibiotic use is less restricted5 and patient compliance is less reliable.

Inadequate treatment, often occurring with women in developing countries, can lead to a variety of complications like chronic pelvic pain and infertility. In order to provide effective treatment and prevent further transmission of resistant STIs, treatment recommendations should be guided by the local prevalence of STI resistance. Many developed countries have programs in place to monitor antibiotic resistant STIs, but these endeavors are severely lacking in developing countries. A higher level of awareness and a new approach are required in these areas to address increasing antibiotic resistance among STIs.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea

2. Somani et al. Multiple Drug Resistant Chlamydia trachomatis Associated with Clinical Treatment Failure. Journal of Infectious Diseases. Apr 2000 Vol 181(4):1421-1427

3. AVERT HIV & Aids: STD Statistics Worldwide 2001

4.Goeman J et al. The Epidemiology of Sexually Transmitted Disease in Africa and Latin America. Semin Dermatol. 1990 Jun;9(2):105-8

5. Mandomando et al. Antimicrobial Drug Resistance Trends of Bacteremia Isolates in a Rural Hospital in Southern Mozambique. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2010. 83(1):152-7


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

One Response to “The Rise of Antibiotic Resistant Sexually Transmitted Infections”

  1. 鼻咽癌 says:

    I agree with your points , wonderful post.

Leave a Reply

Staypressed theme by Themocracy